Your Forum Signature
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Overview of how the signature works on the forums
In a moment of madness during a great 4Learn, I offered to write a short article on forum signatures.
It is always so easy to assume that everybody knows what every else is talking about when it comes to 4N and the web site. The fact is we don't. ASSUME just makes as ASS out of U and ME. So please do not feel insulted that I take the rest at a very slow pace.
OK, so you know what the internet is, and you know where the forums are… well you can find them by clicking on the Enter Forums button, or Forum links on the web site.
The forums are essentially message boards. The forum is divided into a number of sections, which are to group posts into some categories. You will see from the list that there are many topics and posts for each. A topic is a new issue or thread, and posts are individual replies to those topics.
You click on the category to enter that forum section. This then gives you a list of the latest topics, with the most recent 'posts' at the top. At the very top are sticky posts, where the 4N powers that be, have determined that their sticky posts will stay at the top of list forever.
Now note I said the most recent post is at the top, yet I called a thread, or conversation as being a topic. It is important to understand this. When somebody posts a new topic, or thread, it goes to the top of the list. As other people make posts and threads, it will gradually move down the list.
If, however, somebody else makes a comment on your topic, or thread, then this post will put it back up to the top. This is why people will ask you to comment on their 4N meetings to keep their thread at the top of the list.
Now we come on to the signature. This is a piece of text and or graphics that will be added at the end of EVERY post you make on the forums.
To create and edit your signature you need to click on your my account link and then at the bottom of this you will see the 'my to do list' and edit signature. At the bottom of this page is your forum signature.
Now your signature can contain text, graphics and anything else that can be displayed on a web page. I am not going to talk about the design here. as that is for another time. There are many 4N'ers who will help with your signatuer design. So, let's just agree that you add something in this box and have hit the update my profile button at the bottom
Where does the signature appear?
So, when you decide to make a post, or reply to anybody else's post. That signature is going to be added by the system to the end of your post. Even if you have already commented before, every time you post something, your signature will be added.
This is why people hate long signatures, because they can really break up the flow of a thread.
What if I change my signature?
On the 4N site, your signature is added to every post you make, but it is NOT stored there. So, if you change your signature, ALL of your signatures on all your posts within the forum will henceforth show your new signature. This is different to many other systems, so it's worth mentioning.
My Signature and Google.
Now I am not an SEO expert, but I know the main points and Google LOVES LINKS. Best of all GOOGLE LOVES CONTEXTUAL LINKS.
So, every post you make, with a signature that contains a link to your web site, blog or any other web pages you have will count greatly in your favour when Google looks at the position you get listed. So, if you have 50 posts which all link to your web site, you are going to see better search engines results than if you had none.
Better than this is CONTEXTUAL LINKS. Now what I mean by that is if you have a link to your website like worktheroom.co.uk, then that's great. I have a link from 4Networking.biz to my web site. However I can supercharge that link by using my keywords or phrase in the link, instead of the URL. So a link like better business networking will not only make Google think better of me because of my links, but also think 'wow this web site must be excellent for better business networking because here is a link from 4networking.biz about it.